Welcome back Hoover baseball fans!  The month of August once again represents the coaches no contact period with any returning high school players.  Individual workouts will resume in September.  Coach Bryan Ashby is working on completing the 2020 regular season schedule.  Due to North Canton Schools’ spring break falling during the week of March 23-27 and the first day of the regular season not until March 28th, a southern trip will be not be possible in 2020.  An alternate plan to travel out of town for some games on April 10-11 is being worked on.  Last season, the St. Vincent-St. Mary varsity baseball team was removed from the OHSAA tournament for violating Bylaw 9-2-1 regarding contests with out of state schools.  The Irish missed school time to travel to participate in games with schools located outside of the contiguous boundaries of Ohio.

2020 Rule Change – High school baseball coaches will have an additional option in the use of a designated hitter for the 2020 season under a rule revision approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations.  The new 2nd scenario, which closely matches the college baseball rule book, allows the starting designated hitter to also be a starting defensive player.  The team would begin with nine starters, one of whom also assumes the role of designated hitter.  Typically the rule will be used to allow pitchers to remain in the game as a hitter while removing them from pitching and avoiding having to shift them elsewhere on the diamond.  The change also allows coaches to strategize how to keep players in the game to contribute offensively while allowing another player a chance to participate on defense.  The rule change could actually help protect pitcher’s arms as well.  According to an American Journal of Sports Medicine study, the highest number of Tommy John surgeries is performed on high school-aged athletes.  Now the pitcher won’t have to continue throwing while playing another position.

New Memorabilia –  Recent additions to the Hoover baseball facility include a game jersey worn during the 1969 to 1977 era, Greg Larrick’s award certificate for being named a Louisville Slugger High School All-American in 1998 and the game ball from Hoover’s regional championship win over Grove City (won 5-4) on May 29, 1999.  Alumni pictures from their college careers have been mounted for Marcus Mercer (Capital), Sam Russo (Butler), Tony Iero (Ohio U.) and Will Haueter (Northern Kentucky).

Rude Guests – The Hoover Vikings baseball team have twice had the opportunity to play during the inaugural seasons of a new facility or major renovations at Louisville High School and on both occasions defeated the Leopards.  On Monday, April 3, 1995 in the season opener for both teams, the Vikings defeated Louisville 11-3 at the newly opened Field of Dreams.  Louisville Coach Tom Chlebeck felt his players were so caught up in the fanfare of the game that they had trouble making routine plays.  Dusty Seeton, batting 9th in the Hoover batting order, hit the first home run at the new ballpark during a six-run third inning.  Kyle Hartley, Rusty Boarman, Kevin Davidson, Jeff Dyrlund, Matt Geis and Tony Santangelo all collected two hits on the day.

Fast forward to the 2019 season and the Vikings traveled to Louisville for a game on Monday, May 6th following the official dedication of Andy Aljancic Field and its newly installed infield artificial turf just two days prior.  Hoover defeated Louisville 8-4.  Sam Bucher started for Hoover earning the win surrendering only four hits over the first five innings while striking out eight.  Cody Wilson, Josh Salinas and Markos Kantzos each collect a pair of hits for the Vikings.  Brendan Auman drove in four runs in the contest.


As always, Go Vikings!

Craig Haueter (,  (330) 936-1695